Syracuse Basketball: On big-time AAU stages, 4-star commits were stellar

Syracuse basketball, Donnie Freeman (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball, Donnie Freeman (Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Syracuse basketball two-member 2024 class shined bright this past weekend as the three main shoe-sponsored AAU circuits culminated their spring and summer seasons.

The Orange, at present, has two verbal commitments in its 2024 cycle. They are from four-star shooting guard Elijah Moore of New York City and four-star power forward Donnie Freeman of Washington, D.C.

The 6-foot-9 Freeman, last Sunday, won the Peach Jam 17U championship in Nike’s EYBL league, and he had a strong second half in the title game to help propel the D.C.-based Team Takeover to ultimately cut down the nets.

Meanwhile, the 6-foot-4 Moore continued his run of putting up eye-popping scoring numbers this spring and summer for the 17U squad of the Bronx, N.Y.-based Wiz Kids in the Adidas 3SSB league. As all of the AAU circuits wrapped up their seasons a few days ago, the ‘Cuse coaching staff was in attendance for both Moore and Freeman when an NCAA live period took place from July 6 to July 9.

Syracuse basketball 2024 commits Donnie Freeman and Elijah Moore were fantastic in the final AAU sessions.

Team Takeover, a program that has strong connections to the Orange coaching staff, went 8-0 at Peach Jam and 14-3 during the EYBL’s regular season, for a combined overall record of 22-3. That’s impressive.

When Team Takeover defeated the Las Vegas-based Vegas Elite, 76-61, at the Riverview Park Activities Center in North Augusta, S.C., for the 17U grand prize, Freeman tallied 13 points, four rebounds, one assist and one block. And he did this while playing before a national television audience on ESPNU.

For the week-long Peach Jam, over those eight games, Freeman averaged 12.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest, while connecting on 46.1 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from beyond the arc and 65.2 percent from the charity stripe.

For his outstanding performances in North Augusta, The Circuit named Freeman to its All-Peach Jam first team. He is an All-American rising senior at St. John’s College High School in our nation’s capital.

This spring and summer, Moore’s Wiz Kids didn’t produce a record anywhere close to Team Takeover’s, and the 3SSB Web site also hasn’t been providing detailed box scores like the EYBL Web site has.

That being said, social media posts and media reports in recent months have spoken to Moore generating some exceptional scoring production dating back to late April, when the AAU circuits got underway.

Last weekend, as the 3SSB league completed its season from the Rock Hill Sports & Event Center in Rock Hill, S.C., at least three of Moore’s games were detailed through tweets from Mike Waters of In those affairs, Moore collected 20 points, 30 points (seven 3-pointers made) and 30 points (nine 3-pointers made).

Moore, a top-60 national prospect, verbally committed to Syracuse basketball in late January over other finalists Alabama, Arkansas, Miami and Oklahoma State. In recent months, some national analysts and scouts have opined that this rising senior at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx is arguably the top long-range shooter in the 2024 class.

Freeman, a top-30 overall player, pledged to the ‘Cuse in May over other finalists Alabama, Iowa, Texas and Georgia Tech. At present, the Orange’s 2024 cycle is ranked in the top 10 across the country, which is pretty cool.

To see these two ‘Cuse commits play at an ultra-high level on the biggest of AAU stages is exceptional. I’m ecstatic that Elijah Moore and Donnie Freeman will be donning Syracuse basketball uniforms down the line.

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